Chidambaram accuses PM Modi of politicising Pulwama attack, IAF air strikes for poll gains

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Updated: March 5, 2019 11:10:01 AM

P Chidambaram said that it was Congress president Rahul Gandhi who first tweeted saluting the Indian Air Force (IAF) and refuted allegations against his party of questioning the military forces.

The senior leader added that PM Modi has been politicising the issue over the past 14 days and is bashing the Congress and its leadership. (File photo)

Congress leader P Chidambaram has hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for politicising the Pulwama terror strike and air strikes carried pout by the Indian Air Force in Pakistan. PM Modi has attacked the Congress and other opposition parties for questioning the claims made by the government on the consequences of the air strikes carried out by the Indian Air Force.

Chidambaram said that it was Congress president Rahul Gandhi who first tweeted saluting the Indian Air Force (IAF) and refuted allegations against his party of questioning the military forces. He alleged that PM Modi is politicising the Pulwama attack and its consequences for political gains.

“When he says we’re questioning Indian Army, who is questioning Army, Congress Pres was the 1st to tweet “I salute IAF”. We’re not questioning Indian military forces. PM is politicising Pulwama & its consequences. He is trying to take political advantage(sic),” news agency ANI quoted Chidambaram as saying.

The response from senior Rajya Sabha member came a day after PM Modi slammed the opposition for doubting the IAF air strikes amidst a debate in the country over the casualty inflicted by the IAF.

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The statement comes at a time when the debate over India’s February 26 air strikes in Pakistan rages on in the country. The air strikes were seen as a retaliation to the February 14 attack on CRPF jawans in Pulwama in Jammu and Kashmir, in which at least 40 personnel were killed.

The senior leader added that PM Modi has been politicising the issue over the past 14 days and is bashing the Congress and its leadership. “Sometimes I don’t understand what Prime Minister wants to say. Not a day has passed in the last 14 days when he hasn’t made a political election speech in some part of India. He has used every speech to bash Congress & its leadership. Now that’s politicisation,” Chidambaram said.

Addressing a political rally in Patna on Sunday, PM Modi had lashed out at the opposition parties accusing them of speaking in a language that “suits” Pakistan.

Controversy broke out after BJP chief Amit Shah claimed that over 250 terrorists were killed in the IAF strikes carried out by the IAF in Pakistan’s territory. However, Air Marshal BS Dhanoa on Monday gave no such estimate and said it wasn’t the IAF’s job to count bodies. Air Marshal Dhanoa said that the IAF had managed to hit the intended targets, but maintained that it was for the government to reveal the number of casualties.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had on Thursday demanded evidence of the pre-emptive strike on Jaish-e-Mohammed training camps by the Indian Air Force. Banerjee also said the opposition parties want to know the details of the operation.

Congress leaders Kapil Sibal, Digvijaya Singh have also raised questions over the claims of the government over the IAF air strikes.

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